The beginning of the end for Mount Trashmore?

According to The Maui News. the county is issuing a request for trash-to-power proposals in order to divert a lot of opala from the Central Maui Landfill.

It will be interesting to see who applies and what technologies are offered. The county put on an all-day seminar 20-some years ago when trashpower was a hot item, but the then-director of  public works preferred to bury garbage. That got expensive in the ’90s when EPA began requiring environmental safeguards on dumps.

Oahu went ahead with H-POWER, against a lot of skeptics, but it seems to have been successful enough. At least, Honolulu is expanding it in a big way.

A question for Maui will be, do we generate enough trash? When plastic recycling was attempted, there just wasn’t enough plastic garbage.

By definition, garbage has low unit value, so you need a lot of it in order to make money, or to justify the considerable overhead of a biggish power plant. Unlike wind or solar, though, trash is firm power, available anytime.

Trash can have unusual properties. In Virginia Beach, Virginia, which is a flat as the back of your hand, the city piled up trash several hundred feet, covered it with dirt and grass and turned it into a park, called Mount Trashmore. (The city officials didn’t like that but the name stuck.)

Once they had a hill a couple hundred feet high, the city could finally have a Soapbox Derby competition. Before, it was too flat for the cars to roll.